After three years in the bottle this little beauty is like a day old child – nothing wrong with this at all.
It was one of several really top wines that the marvellous David Ayuso opened for us at the lunchtime party to celebrate Juan Manuel del Rey’s big prize: Premio Nacional de la Gastronomia for best service (sala). It couldn’t have been more deserved – this is without fail one of the happiest of happy places – and it was a fantastic occasion, with Juan Manuel calling the whole team up on stage to a ringing ovation, superb finger food by the star chef David Garcia, “mucho arte” from Perrete, Bocadillo and the boys and girls, a bravura performance by Juan Andres Maya and a really joyful finale with Blanca del Rey herself. A chance to celebrate wine, food, music and dancing, and all before
Maybe it was the happy occasion, the music or the three earlier glasses but for whatever reason this struck me as as good a manzanilla as I have had in a long time. As aromatic, zingy and juicy as any that I can remember, and very expressive of those salty, peppery bitter salad flavours.
Absolutely top stuff. Congratulations once again to the crew at Corral de la Moreria … and the crew at Barbadillo!
A growing obsession with these perfect little bottles, packed to the brim with zingy, zesty manzanilla (pasada) and emblazoned with beautiful creatures of fur and feather.
This was the pioneer in the en rama stakes, and in the seasonal saca stakes – they started these in 1999 (my little collection representa only four and a half of the nineteen years of sacas). More importantly it is one of the very top manzanillas around: full of character, ageworthy and subtly different as each season comes along.
Looking forward to the 20th anniversary celebrations next year (hint)!
These were very generously sent to me by Lustau but be not afraid: this largesse will not affect the low standards of professionalism and objectivity for which the blog is barely known.
It is a terrific gift to receive. The 3 en rama set is a great idea by Lustau: three selected en rama wines from each of the three centres of el marco: Sanlucar (manzanilla), Jerez de la Frontera (Fino), and El Puerto de Santa Maria (Fino del Puerto). The wines are distinct and, in my limited experience, a good introduction to the characteristics of biological wines from the three centres.
The Manzanilla de Sanlucar de Barremeda is all fresh green slightly salty apples on the nose and the start of the palate, a nice bite of zing then again a fresh, apply finish. Very inviting indeed.
The Fino de Jerez de la Frontera is slightly more serious, more tangy vegetable than apple and a more intense, peppery zing. It seems to have more metals in the minerals more weight and a metallic tang on the finish.
The Fino del Puerto de Santa Maria is my favourite every year and yet again it stands out. It has a brilliant nose of sweet rockpools and is as complex on the palate – with sweet and herbal touches and a zingy, fresh finish. Really a top, top class fino.
Just look at the colour of that manzanilla – en rama and a year or so in the bottle and it is a lovely dark straw colour. Rich and mulchy on the nose too and a nice sweet/savoury character to it on the palate: hints of juicy sweetness at the start, then zing and savory, bready flavours in the middle and a salty fresh finish.
This is a really interesting wine – the first ecological manzanilla and as such a brand new solera when the wines were first released in 2016. If I am reading the codes right this wine appears to have been bottled at the end of 2016 and it has really gained from that time in the bottle. Maybe lost some floral notes but has broadened out on the palate (almost like a palomino white wine) and all the better for it.
Has warmed up in Madrid of late and out for a stroll I found myself in need of a pit stop. As luck would have it, I was in the vicinity of Surtopia, a spot which is never short of the good stuff.
And this is very good stuff: the seasonal saca of the legendary Solear. This edition has all the characteristics of the legendary series. Gorgeous old gold colour, intense aromatics and powerful zing and flavours. The definition of an intense wine and for me the definition of an inland manzanilla (or manzanilla pasada if you must).
Superb stuff – I picked up two more to take home from a local retailer.
Been a hard few days at the coalface and this is just the sort of pick-me-up a fellow needs.
Lovely aromas as soon as the cork popped out of the top of the bottle, a gorgeous old gold colour, buttery mouthfeel and creamy buttery flavours to it too. Really lush, even as it sizzles the saliva out of the old taste buds.
Just what I needed. Absolutely top drawer.
A beautiful sight, and I am not just referring to the skillful composition and masterful control of light and perspective in the photo. The beauty is in the centre of shot: the words “Viña Las Cañas, Pago Balbaina”. This sort of thing makes the old heart hum along with the band: I strongly believe that those that can put the vineyard’s name on the label should do so. (In fact without wanting to take too much credit I did in fact mention that it might be worth putting these details on the label when I met up with Sanchez Ayala back in September.)
More importantly, this is a classic manzanilla, pure, clean, fresh and crisp. About the most refreshing thing you could drink and still no push over. And a bargain, when you consider that you can buy the same wine at considerably higher prices under other labels.